Alleged N20bn Fraud: Group Drag Fayemi, Others to EFCC, ICPC

By Ayodele Kolawole
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The outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged fraudulent practices, running to over N20 billion.

The Save Ekiti Coalition (SEC), which made this allegation, wrote petition dated September 26, 2014 to the EFCC and ICPC and the petition was submitted in Abuja on September 29, 2014.

The petition signed by SEC Secretary, Comrade Oke Ayodele was titled; “Complaint of fraudulent practices against Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and others: call for investigation and prosecution.”

The group said the frauds were perpetrated through N2.6 billion construction of new civic centre, N383.9m earthwork for new governor's office, diversion of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Local Councils funds through contracts worth N4.2bn, inflation of road contracts worth over N10bn and diversion of N1.2bn FADAMA fund.

The petition read in part; “Contract for the construction of a New Civic Centre was awarded to TIANJIN-YUYANG Construction Eng. Limited on August 30, 2012 at the cost of N2, 573,584,395.75, while Consultancy on the construction was awarded to CASA Nig Ltd on June 11, 2012 at the cost of N137, 611,325.07.

“Curiously, as at the end of 2012, a sum of N643,396,098.94 (representing 25% of total contract sum) had been paid to TIANJIN-YUYANG Construction Eng. Limited while the consultant, CASA Nig. Ltd was paid N89,801,901.06 (representing 80% of total contract sum).

“In 2013, a sum of N350, 116,245.17 was paid to TIANJIN-YUYANG Construction Eng. Limited, making a total sum of N993, 512,344.11 (representing 45% of total contract sum).

“While the Project contractor was paid 25% of the contract sum in 2012, why was the consultant paid 80% of the contract sum? Information available to us indicates that the Consultant was hurriedly paid 80% of the contract sum so as to enable some officials of the government get N50m of the contract sum.

“Also, payment to the contractor was changed to N350, 116,245.17 in the 2014 Capital Projects Report, as against the sum of N643,396,098.94 presented in the 2013 Capital Projects Report.

“Contract for the construction of earthwork for the N ew Governor's Office was awarded to PONTI-ITALWARE Nig Ltd on March 3, 2012 at the sum of N383, 900,911.06, with a sum of N115, 170,273.32 paid to the contractor. The New Governor's Office was proposed to be constructed from the N25bn Bond obtained by the State Government, with N3,474,700.000.00 earmarked for the project.

“However, with N115, 170,273.32 paid to PONTI-ITALWARE Nig Ltd for earthwork, as at today, the site has been abandoned, with no significant work done.

“By our own assessment, what was spent on the site cannot be more than N5m.

“Also, in the 2014 Capital Projects Report, the N115, 170,273.32 paid for the earthwork was deleted, raising poser as to why the payment was missing from the 2014 updated account.

“In 2012, contracts worth N4, 246,094,751.14 were awarded through the Bureau of Special Projects (under the Governor's office), headed by Mr. Kelekun. The contracts were for renovation of schools, supply of school furniture and construction of classrooms. Funds for these projects were taken from SUBEB and Local Governments accounts.

“Of these contracts, N3, 672,078,820.14 were for renovation of schools alone. Atlantic Offshore & Properties got N1, 152,562,555.14, Strabic Nig. Ltd got N1, 107,744.408.21, Bam Darley Nig. Ltd. got N924,977,310.95 while Fatub Nig. Ltd got N486, 794,545.84.

“Immediately the renovation contracts were awarded, Atlantic Offshore & Properties was paid N750 million (70% of contract sum), Strabic Nig.

Ltd was paid N600 million (65% of contract sum), Bam Darley Nig. Ltd was paid N600 million (70% of contract sum) while Fatub Nig.

Engineering Ltd was paid N150 million (60% of contract sum).

“A total of N2.1bn was paid from SUBEB and LG accounts to these contractors even before the commencement of work, and over 40% of the payment was diverted into private pockets.

“In the 2014 Capital Projects Report, payments to the contractors were presented as;

a: Atlantic Offshore & Properties - N1, 022,130,415.64

b: Strabic Nig. Ltd - N957, 237,829.62
c: Bam Darley Nig. Ltd - N742, 730,990.25
d: Fatub Engineering Nig. Ltd - N431, 327,270.41
“As at the time N1, 022,130,415.64 was paid to Atlantic Offshore & Properties, only 60% work had been done, meaning that Atlantic Offshore & Properties was only entitled to N691, 537,551. Bam Darley Nig. Ltd that was paid N742, 730,990.25 had done 60% work too and ought to have been paid N554, 986,386.57.

“Contracts for REHABILITATION of Roads were awarded at highly inflated cost, with some of the roads costing as high N50 million per kilometre when the immediate past government awarded CONSTRUCTION of roads at less than N45m per kilometre. The REHABILITATION only involved cutting of failed portion, filling with laterite and stone base and asphalt overlay. No subsoil drainages, new pipe culverts and box culverts were constructed.

“For instance, 10.7km Ado-Afao was awarded at N538, 638,704.26, 17km Ilawe-Igbara Odo-Ibuji road, which was awarded at a little above N200m by the immediate past government was re-awarded to at N894,698,043.75, 11.5km Ado-Ilawe road was awarded at N482,849,098.20, 3.6km Ijigbo-Baptist College (Ilawe road) was awarded at N788,038,599.60 while Fajuyi-University Teaching Hospital Road that is less than3km was awarded at N447,544,063.50

“Rehabilitation of 13km Old Garrage-Ado-Ikere road was awarded to Plycon Nig Ltd at N2, 369,833,077.15.

“Construction of 0.8km Old Garrage-Ojumose (Ado-Ekiti) road was awarded to Heartland Nig. Ltd at N866, 872,873.13.

“Using the State Public Works Corporation (PWC), rehabilitation 5km township roads were embarked upon in each of the 16 LGs. Contracts for the rehabilitation of these roads were awarded without any input from the respective LGs while fund for the project was deducted from the local councils allocation.

“For instance, rehabilitation of 5km roads in Moba LG was awarded for N368, 950,821.09, Ido/Osi LG for N329, 950,821.50 and Ilejemeje LG for N347, 914,157.68. Apart from the PWC, cronies of Governor Kayode Fayemi were also given the contract. Most of the road projects have been abandoned. (See Annexure 5).

“In 2010, the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Government released $7.5m (about N1.2bn) for FADAMA III Project. The State Government was expected to provide counterpart fund of N100m. FADAMA III was for LIVESTOCK farmers.

“However, the N100m counterpart fund was not provided by the State government until 2013.

“Instead of using this fund for the purpose for which the World Bank and FG released it, the State Government set up a scheme called Youths Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (YCAD) and used the FADAMA III grant from the World Bank and FG to fund it.

6-10 YCAD farmers were purportedly given N6 million each while FADAMA farmers, who registered FUGs of Ten (10) farmers collectively applied for six hundred and ninety thousand Naira only (N69,000.00 per farmer) were left unfunded.

“There were just 142 YCAD members, but the government claimed they were 15,000.

“The government also claimed that it bought NINE Tractors at N98m and constructed abattoir for N18m. However, the tractors claimed to have been bought with N98m were the ones supplied to Ekiti State by the federal government during the immediate past administration of Engr Segun Oni.

“Also, the N100m counterpart fund paid by the State government into FADAMA's ECO Bank, Ado-Ekiti account was later returned to the government coffers.

“For FADAMA IV, a sum of $10.5m (about N1.7bn) was released in August, this year by the World Bank in collaboration with the FG for cassava plantation. Moves are now being made to siphon this fund.”